The long-stalled sale of the New Orleans Hornets now seems to officially be dead. Which may make it less likely Chris Paul gets traded in the near term.
Hornets’ owner George Shinn had reached an agreement in principle to sell the team to minority owner Gary Chouest, but that deal fell through as they tried to hammer out the details, according to the New York Daily News.
“Chouest didn’t step up,” the source said. “He’s not going to buy the team from George. It looks as if George will have to hold onto it.”
Exactly what did in the deal remains unclear, although there had been rumors before that how much existing debt Chouest had to take on was a stumbling block.
So Shinn — a notoriously low-spending owner — keeps control of the team, and that makes it more likely Chris Paul will be out the door. Eventually.
There is some logic to the argument Shinn might consider trading CP3 to help trim the payroll. However, in contrast to that when the reports of Paul being shopped first started to surface this summer it was Shinn who fired GM Jeff Bower for talking to other teams about such a move. If Shinn is still looking for perspective buyers, trading the team’s best player and face of the marketing campaign might lower that sale value.
However, having Shinn as owner makes it far less likely that new GM Dell Demps is going to have much freedom to spend and bring in real quality talent around Paul. Which means Paul will want to leave. Which could put the Hornets next year in the same position the Nuggets are now — trying to move their superstar before he leaves them as a free agent and they get nothing.
And it gives Knicks and Nets fans more hope. And more reason to talk about who is not in camp versus who is.